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It is the user who decides on the success of your products.

Case Study Concordia

User-centered Design Concordia

User Research und Prototyping Sales Application
  • Contextual inquiry/workplace shadowing
  • Personas
  • Card Sorting and information architecture
  • Prototyping for feasibility and cost estimate
Screen Concordia

Concordia is a medium-sized insurance company, headquartered in Hannover, Germany. The company serves more than 1.3 million customers with more than 1,000 employees and numerous agencies and business partners nationwide. Concordia is specialized in indemnity and accident insurances for private and business clients.

The Concordia website is the most important portal for all private and business customers and offers information and insurance calculators for the Concordia insurance products. In addition, Concordia runs numerous software applications and web portals for the agencies and insurance brokers. These support the users in customer management, the calculation of rates, and consulting at the customer’s home or the broker’s office.

The Mission

The goal was to develop a single consistent user interface for several existing software and online services. The new interface was supposed to take the specific requirements of the insurance brokers and agency representatives into account and offer a simplified access to Concordia’s services.

“How will such a sales platform look like exactly and how much will the implementation cost?“ – A one year project was set up to answer these questions. The mission was to develop a prototype, for a first feasibility, scope and implementation estimate, taking into account both the target groups’ and Concordia’s internal requirements.

Concordia’s rate calculator for automobile insurance on the Internet
Concordia’s rate calculator for automobile insurance on the Internet

The Approach

In order to gather the requirements of the target groups in a structured manner, usability.de carried out interviews with insurance brokers and agency employees at their work place. The core question was: “How do the users currently work with the various systems of the different insurance companies?“ By carrying out the interviews directly at the employees’ work places, usability.de was able to observe usability problems occurring during the real use of the applications.

Afterwards, the most important use cases for the new sales platform were defined and prioritized. By carrying out a card sorting with the agency staff, usability.de collected the users’ requirements for the navigation structure. The results were used to develop a user-centered information architecture. Following, all necessary forms, customer managing and tariffing processes were designed and visualized in a functional prototype.

Important results of the contextual inquiries were captured in user stories
Important results of the contextual inquiries were captured in user stories
Card sorting: Users label and sort content elements from their point of view
Card sorting: Users label and sort content elements from their point of view

The Solution

The prototype included all requirements in terms of structure, content, layout, and function range from both the company’s and the users’ point of view. It enabled Concordia to put together a first cost estimate and helped the company to choose the right technology for implementation. The different prototype stages simplified the internal coordination between the different business units and enabled the company to gather professional requirements from the business and marketing perspective. The solution proved that prototypes are a valuable tool to resolve crucial questions with all project participants and users before implementation. Furthermore, time for development efforts can be saved.

Apart from specific project results the focus was on knowledge transfer in the form of workshops and coaching. This way, Concordia’s project participants learned about different usability approaches. By now the Concordia team independently carries out usability methods, such as card sorting and prototyping in other projects.

Functional Protoype
Functional prototyp as a basis for internal decissions: Example view customer management

The client about the project

  • “In a user-centered design process usability.de developed a prototype of a sales application. The prototype helped us in many ways– inter alia by collecting specific target group feedback in contextual interviews, as a basis for internal technical decisions as well as for strategic decisions. In addition to the visible project results – e.g. the navigation and interaction concept – changing our working manner by implementing a user-centered approach was an additional benefit. We thank usability.de for the results.”

    Concordia
    • Ulf Schmidt, Sales Coordination
    • Concordia

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